On 28 June, Ecommerce Europe, together with EuroCommerce, launched the 2022 European E-commerce Report, a joint endeavour of the two main EU associations defending the interests of the European e-commerce and retail sector. The report was executed by the Centre for Market Insights of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (CMI). The main findings of the report were presented in a webinar and showed that figures are generally optimistic. In 2021, European e-commerce grew by 13 % to €718 billion euros, slightly more than the previous year. However, new global challenges related to the impacts of the war in Ukraine, affecting many aspects of Europeans’ daily life, lie ahead.
The Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, Luca Cassetti, who moderated the online event, opened the webinar by reminding that European retailers have gained a lot of experience in digitalisation throughout the years, cementing their online activities and enhancing their resilience. Nevertheless, the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, impairing European consumers’ purchasing power and confidence, start to be perceived by retailers. Meanwhile, he underlined, EU policymakers progressed on relevant policy files expected to adjust the regulatory framework to the current digital reality. As the voice of the European Digital Commerce sector, Ecommerce Europe worked hard to make sure that the interests of the omnichannel retailers are taken into consideration.
During the webinar, EuroCommerce was represented by its Director of Competitiveness, Leena Whittaker. She called on EU, national as well as local stakeholders to support retailers and their representatives in realising the digital transformation. She put particular emphasis on the need to accompany small businesses throughout their digital journey, to ensure that they also benefit from a wider customer base drawing on a better customer service and digitally fit business operations.
The third panellist, Sara Lone, lead Research Analyst at the Centre for Market Insights of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (CMI), summarised some of the most impressive findings of the 2022 European E-commerce Report. She gave insights into the regional and national breakdown of the e-commerce markets, highlighting that all regions recorded raising numbers of e-shoppers. She justified diverging results across countries as for consumers’ perceived barriers to online shopping by mentioning a lack of digital literacy and consumers’ preferences to buy in a brick-and-mortar setting. She also delved into figures comparing online national purchases with cross-border e-shopping, identifying a trend in buying more internationally in European island nations (e.g., Malta, Iceland).
The Q&A session following the presentation of the report allowed for a deep dive into EU policy aspects related to e-commerce, with Luca Cassetti reminding that the regulatory framework still suffered from fragmentation which made businesses’ compliance with rules more difficult. This might also explain why certain omnichannel retailers refrain from selling in a cross-border setting.
You can also read the 2022 European E-commerce Report here, publicly available in its light version. The full version is accessible for free to policymakers as well as to the members of Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce. For any questions, you can contact us at email@example.com.